The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian has been published here, and has topline figures of CON 34%(nc), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 14%(nc), Others 13%(nc) – no change whatsoever in the main topline voting intention figures. The breakdown for other parties was SNP 3%, Plaid 1%, Green 4%, UKIP 4%, BNP 1%

On economic trust 40% of people said they trusted David Cameron & George Osborne more, 29% said they trusted Ed Miliband and Ed Balls more, an 11 point lead for the Conservative team that is not significantly different from the 9 point lead ICM registered a month ago, but is still substantially below the sort of lead they had pre-budget.

ICM also asked how people would vote if Tony Blair was Labour leader, and found a slightly smaller Labour lead, with the Conservatives on 34%, Labour on 36% and the Lib Dems on 15%.

137 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 34, LAB 39, LD 14, UKIP 4”

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  1. Germany has been put on negative watch for it’s AAA rating.
    If Germany loses their AAA rating before us, it’ll probably be a massive narrative boon for the chancellor (safe haven of Europe, etc) – on the other hand, we’re still on negative watch so if we lose our AAA rating first, when the narrative is that the cuts are necessary to maintain our rating, it could be very good for the opposition.
    Fingers crossed time at the Treasury, I suspect.

    How the government responds is another matter – we could do as the US has and just ignore the rating agencies and continue borrowing as before.

    Also, does anybody have any idea why ICM takes so long to get it’s tables up? Surely they have them prepared before they give the headline VI to the Guardian.

  2. Agree that the Blair question is irrelevant and perhaps a little mischievious from the Guardian (ICM only doing what asked).
    Frankly of the main parties (inc Nats) the only one I think (baring ill-health or major scandal) who could possible stand down before the next GE is Clegg as the LDs try to differentiate more.
    I think LDs with Cable would be a better question and whilst hypothetical for now it would be interesting to see if any post 2010 GE LD-Lab returned.

  3. Little Snippet of YouGov poll that I haven’t noticed elsewhere –
    If the British Government was forced to choose between these options, which would you prefer?
    Policies that reduce unemployment, even if inflation rises to some extent – 59%
    Policies that keep inflation low, even if unemployment rises to some extent – 22%

    Seems that the public isn’t on the ‘price worth paying’ side of politics.
    And I realise that the question presents a bit of a false dichotomy – low unemployment does not necessarily mean high inflation but these questions are interesting because they give an indication of values – i.e people value high employment more than low inflation.

    Also haven’t noticed the YouGov/British Futures figures posted before, we always complain about small subsamples for 18-24 year olds, so how about a 18-24 year old poll? (Sample Size: 1009 18-24 year olds)-
    VI –
    Con – 23%
    Lab – 47%
    Lib – 11%
    Green – 6%
    SNP/PCY – 5%
    UKIP – 4%
    BNP – 1%
    Respect (just for Rob S) – 0%

    So total centre-left parties (if we count Libs as pure centrist now) – 58%
    Total centre-right – 27%

    How would you vote in a referendum to…
    18-24 year olds (vs all adults) –

    Withdraw from EU –
    Withdraw – 25 (50)
    Stay in EU – 48 (36)

    Death Penalty for murdering a police officer –
    Restore the Death Penalty – 22 (44)
    Not Restore – 61 (42)

    Reduce net immigration to zero –
    Reduce – 45 (69)
    Not Reduce – 34 (21)

    Make small quantities of soft-drugs legal –
    Legal – 43 (32)
    Illegal – 41 (54)

    Set a legal maximum earning at £1million –
    Maximum pay – 30 (49)
    No Maximum pay – 49 (36)

    What is interesting from these questions is that while 18-24 year olds are far more socially liberal and pro-EU than the nation as a whole, they’re conservative (in the traditional sense – opposition to change) to establishment politics.

  4. On the Blair business – outside Alec Salmond who I think is a special case – no party usually finds the answer to its current problems by resorting to its leaders from the past.

  5. Tinged Fringe,

    That “SNP/PCY – 5%” figure, in a Great Britain-wide poll, corresponds to over 50% SNP VI in Scotland among 18-24 year olds.

  6. tingedfringe

    The inflation versus unemployment is an interesting question, but I wonder if attitudes to inflation haven’t altered a bit over the last few years in any case. certainly it seems much less prominent in political discourse than it was in previous decades.

    This may of course be because the way inflation happens affects least those who create the political discourse. It also could be because the past few years have shown that inflation can go roaring ahead even if there is no wage inflation (especially in the public sector) and low borrowing costs (hence attacking the income of those relying directly on savings). Too much discussion of inflation might lead either wage earners or savers to become more demanding.

    I’ve a feeling that polls have always tended to show support for tackling unemployment rather than inflation – even when people are voting for Parties that do the opposite. However the recent changes in the deficit versus growth question in YouGov’s intermittent economic trackers:

    (not yet updated with Sunday’s figures)

    may indicate a shift in the way people look at economic issues.

    The figures in the YouGov/British Futures poll are very interesting (do you have a reference to the tables? – I couldn’t find them). I suspect the anomalous results on the EU and maximum earnings reflect potential self-interest. Those in this group may see themselves as more likely to become multi-millionaires and/or go and work in Europe. Older people may have a more realistic view – especially of the first option.

  7. @PaulCroft

    “personal attacks rather than substance”
    A guddun Rob: excellent use of irony.”

    I think anyone who can use the term “Palaeolithic “sowwwcialists” “, and seemingly do so with a straight face, probably doesn’t do irony.

    Or humour by the look of it.

    I remember old Rob getting into some intemperate spats with, amongst many others, Eoin Clarke at the time of the last election. Legal action was threatened then and on another occasion, a victim of one of Rob’s tirades, who was quite a popular poster at the time, said he’d leave the site and participate no more. Many rounded on Rob after this, some accusing him of bullying behaviour. I actually defended him because I thought a bully was defined as someone exploiting a physical or intellectual superiority in order to intimidate others. I don’t know about Rob’s physical prowess, but I detect no intellectual heavyweight at work, despite his tendency to flaunt his academic credentials.

    In fact, all I really detect is a bit of an angry silly-billy who, periodically, explodes into hilarious bouts of Dave Spart-esque drivel.

  8. SoCalLiberal (OPT)

    This is OT but I found this article fascinating. Almost everyone would say Sweden is more progressive than the United States. Yet here, a Swedish court takes an extreme right wing position that Nino Scalia (and a unanimous SCOTUS) flatly rejected 14 years ago.

    ht tp://


    I suspect this isn’t about right wing positions, but about badly-drafted laws (or possibly prosecutors bringing the wrong charges). For example in English law it only became possible to prosecute someone someone for raping a man in 1994:

    and the same law change also ended the bizarre situation where consensual heterosexual anal sex carried a higher criminal penalty than if non-consensual (because the latter only counted as indecent assault).

    Occasionally the ‘gendering’ of laws surrounding could work to help those involved. There was a famous case where two ladies were convicted of operating a brothel when they had been sharing a flat to ply their trade. However the definition of keeping a brothel included the phrase “two or more women” and as one of those involved turned out to be legally male, they both got off.

  9. @Rob Sheffield
    Yep- and I wonder what your mate Tony Benn would do to Labours current lead? But then again Palaeolithic “sowwwcialists” like yourself are utterly ire;vant to current political questions aren’t they ?
    :lol: Not sure I can claim to be mates with Tony Benn! I’d actually love for the “Benn scenario” to be polled alongside Blair.

    In any case, I very much suspect Labour would be in the low 20?s at best with only leftist nutters like yourself giving wholehearted support!
    Oh, so we’re in the twenties, now? I distinctly remember you claiming those “leftist nutters” only amounted to a few percent the last time you were on here?

    I so wish you would trot off to your natural ‘Respect’ and Islamist home.
    My home is one of Islamism? You get more absurd by the minute. :lol: Besides, I think many of these “sowwwcialists” you decry would think it’s about time you trotted off to your natural home. You’re in a ‘democratic socialist’ party, despite apparently hating socialists. :lol:

  10. Sorry, I’m new to this caper but how come the Lib Dem proportion is so much higher in this poll than others. Because it is for The Guardian? If all polls give the result that the newspaper wants what on earth is the point of polls.

  11. All getting a bit grumpy on here sadly. There’s really no need, and we can discuss our views – even stretch the non partisan definitions – without resort to unpleasantries. Best leave that to other sites.

  12. Brian –

    There are a variety of methodological reasons for it. The main one in this case is how pollsters deal with people who say don’t know when asked how they will vote. The basic three approaches to this are:

    YouGov ignore them completely
    MORI ask them a “squeeze question” – who are they most likely to vote for, and if they still say don’t know ignore them.
    ICM assume that half of them will vote for the party that they say they voted for at the 2010 election.

    (Populus do similar to ICM, but reallocate Lib Dems at a lower rate, ComRes do a squeeze question and then reallocate the remaining don’t knows according to party ID)

    Currently the effect of this is to give a significant boost to the level of Lib Dem support, often 3 points or so. However it is pure co-incidence that it is the Guardian’s pollster that does this – ICM have been polling for the Guardian since the mid 1980s, they have been making this adjustment for almost 20 years and the effect it has changes over time according to which party has lost support to don’t know. For example, from 1993-1997 the adjustment used to tend to help the Conservatives. From 2003-2010 it used to tend to help Labour, while since then it has tended to help the Lib Dems.

  13. It looks like Spain is heading for a sovereign bailout, and Greece is now being described as being in a ‘Great Depression’.

    There is no sign whatsoever that debt levels can stabilise in these economies, with the likelihood that as recession bites further, debt percentages will actually increase. In the absence of devaluation it’s clear that conventional austerity has failed, and there is no sign that it’s about to start working any time soon.

    Euro supporters maintain the fiction that the Euro must be protected and that it is a good thing, with Draghi even saying that the Euro will not fail as there is ‘too much political capital’ invested in it. If that isn’t a glaring admission of what this is all about, I don’t know what is.

    Protecting the Euro now is about saving political necks, and they don’t seem to care how many Greek and Spanish (and soon German) citizens will be made to suffer in the process.

  14. @ Brian Croft

    The reason for the difference is the way in which ICM allocate trhe don’t knows. They tend to give them back to the party the voted for in the last election. Other polling firms have taken more account of the general change in the overal VI when they allocate dont knows.

    Asx we are in strange times with large shifts in Lid Dem VI we will not know until 2015 who is right!

  15. Think the CPS announcement on charges will affect Camerons polling and that of the Tories. Not getting into speculation or discussion on the charges and who they have been brought against.

    Could this lead to pressure being put on Cameron to resign due to any lack of judgement that he had perceived to have shown ? Possible, but unlikely in my opinion.

  16. Usual rules on Leveson, etc, speculation apply. Too many people here have proved themselves unable to discuss it in a non-partisan (or in some cases even vaguely sane) manner.

    R Huckle – doubt it will have much effect now. It was extremely likely Coulson would be charged and actually subjudice rules kicking in will start limiting how much play Labour can make of it. The difficult point timewise will be if Coulson is found guilty.

  17. Just been told by a Tory Minister how immoral I am. I was left a gasp at the cheek of this Tory Minister. I’m too old to do the gardening myself, and my husband passed away 7 years ago so I hire a gardener who comes around now and again and does a lovely job and I pay him in cash.

    Apparently I’m supporting the hidden economy and am now deemed by Her Majesty’s Government an accomplice in tax evasion, while Mr Carr and all the others on the K2 scheme hiding their (probably) billions, from the Exchequer are free to continue as they please.

    Is this really how Mr Cameron is going to try to win over all of us “defectors” and the “considerers” that his non-dom, non tax paying friend Lord Ashcroft says he needs to win over for a majority? By painting us as the villains?

    Can I proudly claim that my Primroses have brought the British Economy to its knees?

  18. Alec

    I am a euro supporter because I have some (a lot actually)..

    Views on this issue are worthless unless one knows the personal financial situation of the opiner.

    People who have no euros would only be influenced by with whom they do business or with whom their boss does (etc, etc).

    Polls on the subject are worthless by definition, since the sample is hopelessly potentially biased..

  19. This cash in hand story seems bound to come back and bite the Tories. Just how tempting will it be for journalists to go looking for tradesmen that have been paid cash by Tory ministers? And how easy will it be to find them? It’s almost like it’s been set up – who can be the first to find a minister who is “morally wrong.”

    And of course there will have been Labour MPs who have done it too….ho hum.

  20. Howard – “Polls on the subject are worthless by definition, since the sample is hopelessly potentially biased..”

    People are hopelessly potentially biased on all subjects. The point of polls is to measure public opinion, however ill-informed, biased, stupid or ignorant it may be. Your opinion is no less valid because it is determined by the fact you have lots of money in Euros, neither is the opinion of someone whose opinion is determined by their business doing lots of trade in Euros.

  21. Woodsman,

    – “This cash in hand story seems bound to come back and bite the Tories.”

    Yepp. That was exactly my first thought when I saw this story this morning. What a stinking blooper by that minister. I look forward to months and months of tabloid fun with this story.

    Self-righteousness is rarely an attractive trait, and ought to be avoided like the plague by practitioners of jobs widely perceived as being full of filth, eg. politics.

  22. if one of those financially wrecked countries leaves the Euro, what happens to the (presumably massive) debts they have run up in getting to that point? I assume they will still be valued in Euros. I don’t think the creditors will readily accept “monopoly money” which would be the result of EZ exit and devaluation of whatever new currency is adopted. Sounds like a default to me.

    for the record, I have about £40 euros cash.

  23. Have been doing a bit of a late “Spring” Clean and have discovered 80 Euros in draws and wallets left over from 2 trips to France and Italy in the recent years. I can safely say that my having them in no way influences my opinion of the Euro. I’m going to have them converted at the Post Office but may hold some back so that in 10 years I can still talk about the time 17 countries all tried to have monetary union without fiscal union and have the proof to hand as well.

    I don’t know if anyone saw the BBC mini series, “Coming Here Soon” about how the Euro crisis has hit Ireland and Greece, I’d heard the stories, but seeing it actually hitting, and hearing real people’s stories just made me weep.

    As Alec has said, the political elite from both sides put their political careers before the needs of these people, who are starving and I am disgusted.

  24. Is phone hacking “factored in” to voting intention now?

    I no think so, not fully.

    We’ll see over next few days.

  25. @Anmary

    If you’ve ever been to Greece you’ll know drama is a Greek word. Egypt and Syria on the other hand – every Greek looks over there and is terrified.

  26. Thank you Anthony and DaveM. I get it now. In reality I rather suspect LibDems would not get anything like 14% if there were an election tomorrow. And as for achieving 2010 level – I think that might take decades. Maybe never. My sense is that there is feeling of betrayal within the rank&file membership which is very long term.

  27. @Howard – I have €1.83 ticked away in a drawer. I am working on a big project and we are closing in on a €1.3m contract to import a wind turbine from Germany. While it won’t pay me any more, I’d love the Greeks and Spanish to stay in the Euro as the slump in Euro valuation is making the project more and more viable by the day.

    Had I stood to gain thousands from the continuation of the Euro, I would still be utterly appalled by the serial incompetence and self preservation being displayed by so many of those people who knew all along that the EZ construction was flawed.

    I’ve already posted a link to economics studies commissioned by the old EEC which clearly state that monetary union would be unstable under current fiscal arrangements, but they ignored this and carried on.

    Even when I was doing a simple economics A level back in my school days and the single currency was being discussed, I remember writing essays about how the proposals would mean inflation, impoverishment and unemployment would become the key stabilizers in a single currency block as proposed, which is indeed what we are seeing.

    If I could see that as a spotty 17 year old, why couldn’t the EU commission?

    The failings are blatant, were predicted by many, and it is one of Europe’s biggest political mistakes to pursue this venture.

  28. Good Afternoon everyone, from a very hot beach, at last, and in school hols as well.

    I notice that some Labour Politicians’ phones are alleged to have been hacked.

    The Euroland crisis may well have deeper impacts in terms of UK politics.

    MrsBrookes seems to have been very upset this morning.

  29. ANMARY

    @”while Mr Carr and all the others on the K2 scheme hiding their (probably) billions, from the Exchequer are free to continue as they please.”

    I don’t think they are ANMARY. :-

    “HMRC said the scheme, known as K2, was already under serious scrutiny by tax inspectors before a Times investigation on Tuesday which alleged that comedian and presenter Carr was avoiding paying higher rates of tax by funnelling millions of his assets through a £168m Jersey-based scheme.

    HMRC said it was currently investigating whether the scheme was technically legal.

    “If it [K2] does work technically, HMRC will challenge it in every way. ”


    I think Gauke was asked a question by a journalist about cash payments to traders.
    He was between a rock & a hard place-if that practice is not wrong, why is K2 wrong?

    His biggest mistake was to forget that he is an MP-people remember what MPs got up to-and won’t be lectured by them.

    Equally of course “people” want to hang bankers & financiers **from the lamposts for tax avoidance-but don’t want to stop their little VAT avoidance schemes.

    We seem to want a rule which says , big scams by rich people are really really bad, but little scams by ordinary people are really OK.

    That’s the immoral bit .

    I would start with BBC staff personally -it would stop them lecturing everyone else about personal ethics :-)

  30. BBC should be prosecuted for treating employed staff as self employed unless it can be shown that the staff member had comparable income from elsewhere at the time. Same for those civil servants doing the same.

    This is where the criticism of Ken Livingstone was nonsense. He was not employed he was effectively earning as a business at the time.

  31. Colin

    The difference is ordinary people try to avoid tax so they can put food on the table. There is a world of difference between the plumber who might not declare the odd job or two to make ends meet, and the investment banker who creamed vast bonuses off the public purse then hides it away offshore to save himself millions.

  32. On the subject of immigration, which I have oft commented is a double-edged sword for the Cons…you may find this report interesting:

    Announcing reductions in and making immigration a key policy, as wll as banging on about it at various opportune moments, may seem to help the Cons…but implementing controls has unhelpful consequences.


    The BBC may possibleybe open to a charge of acting fraudulently by encouraging workers who shoudl have been paid via the payroll subject to PAYE etc. At the very least, the BBC would be liable to the underpaid income tax and Class 1 NICs due on the earnings from the employment. Penalties and interest could be added. Of course, much depends on the facts…

  33. Oops, missed some text..

    The BBC may possibly be open to a charge of acting fraudulently by encouraging workers who shoudl have been paid via the payroll subject to PAYE etc to set themselves up a sself-employed etc

  34. “@chrislane1945

    I notice that some Labour Politicians’ phones are alleged to have been hacked.”

    Yes I noticed that to. I wonder whether any Tory politicians phones were hacked and if so, were they consulted before any charges were brought ? Would the CPS have needed their consent to bring charges, related to any hacking of their phones ? I guess we will never know.

  35. @NickP – “BBC should be prosecuted for treating employed staff as self employed unless it can be shown that the staff member had comparable income from elsewhere at the time. ”

    I don’t think the status of other earnings has much to do with it. As I recall, IR35 is more to do with where you work (does the worker have to work at the employer/contractors place of choosing) and does the employee/contractor control when the work is done etc. The nature and status of other work isn’t I think particularly relevant in the main, although I could be mistaken.

    When I last looked through at this issue for my own purposes, I was very surprised to see regular BBC presenters being paid via service companies and getting away with it.

    @Colin – I’m with you on the morality of tax avoidance/evasion. While there isn’t anything wrong with payments in cash (it’s the duty of the recipient to declare the payments, not the buyer) I see no moral distinction between evasion for small amounts or large amounts. The difference should only be in the relative scale of punishment meted out, with issues like starvation and poverty clearly being mitigating factors.

    For the vast bulk of ‘normal’ society desperately trying to hold the rich and powerful to proper account, we mustn’t succumb to the notion that morality is a pick and mix business. That’s effectively what we have done for the last 40 years, and it is precisely this that has enabled the wealthy to develop a series of excuses for their own behaviour .

  36. Stuart Dickson @ Woodsman,

    “What a stinking blooper by that minister. I look forward to months and months of tabloid fun with this story.”

    The pasty man, is he not?

  37. As regards IR35 and ‘worker status’, it would seem unlikely that there would be any provision/scope for the worker to provide a substitute where for example the worker is a presenter who appears on one or more BBC shows etc.

    It seems to me improbable that presenters could be anything other than employees and subject to PAYE etc with the engaging company.

  38. Colin

    We seem to want a rule which says , big scams by rich people are really really bad, but little scams by ordinary people are really OK.

    That’s the immoral bit .

    Well just because people are being hypocritical, it doesn’t they are wrong. Quite the opposite – they’re identifying the wrongdoing but failing to admit it themselves.

    I do hope we’re not going to see an outbreak of the sort of moral relativism, which people like Staines are fond of, that decides all lawbreaking is equivalent, so everyone is guilty, so nobody is really guilty. It usually ends up as “x is a mass murderer, but Amnesty made a spelling mistake attacking him. So they’re just as bad” and the internet is full of it. Though oddly enough it only ever seems to be used to defend the crimes of the rich.

    And as I usually end up pointing out, the thing about the rich is that they have more money, so it’s more efficient to go after them than poorer people. Not that this seems to have been happening. While HMRC were busy cracking down on self-employed groups like plumbers and doctors, Hartnett was busy deciding not to pursue billion pound claims against various large corporations.

    I suspect however that these topics, attractive though they might appear, will not get the prolonged coverage you might ordinarily expect. Most media companies and the mega-rich that own them tend to benefit from all sort of schemes (and of course use their power to lobby for them). Rather as with phone-hacking this is a case when they are nearly all in it together. A few shots across the bows of politicians who might otherwise be forced into doing something about their cosy financial relationships and things might go quiet again.

  39. @ Mike N

    The BBC may possibly be open to a charge of acting fraudulently by encouraging workers who shoudl have been paid via the payroll subject to PAYE etc to set themselves up a sself-employed etc
    I think that is very unlikely. The tax status of an employee/ contract worker is determined by the individual not the employer – even when the contract worker only works for a single employer. This has been tested in court already.

    And there is nothing ‘fraudulent’ – at this time – about the employer saying they prefer to engage people as contract workers rather than direct employees. Loads of companies have similar ‘recruitment’ policies.

    The government would need to change the tax laws &/or tax rates, if this way of doing business is to change because, as I said, the existing law has been tested in court already & this way of doing business is legal.

    Regarding the BBC, e.g. a condition could be attached to receipt of licence fees regarding recruitment policy, I’d think. But existing contracts wouldn’t be affected unless both parties agreed to renegotiate.

  40. Lol when I read this
    “Name and shame tax avoiders? Isn’t there a whole list of plumbers in the Yellow Pages?”

  41. Alec & Colin I fully agree with all the points you make re: payments in cash & the Euro.
    On the cash aspect, we all do it, because cash is convenient. However if the worker does not declare that income, then that is tax EVASION, which is illegal. The amount is irrelevant. If he declares it but claims some legitimate expenses against it, or puts it through a legal scheme, then that is tax AVOIDANCE and that is not illegal. I just wish some on here and elsewhere were intelligent enough to understand the difference. Of course these practices are all the result of charging ludicrously high rates of tax in the first place. In France the black economy is massive because of the massive tax & health charges levied to fund socialism.

    re your posts on the euro Alec, yes, they knew it was flawed from the start and it has caused pain & misery for millions as a result. If these politicians were directors of a rail company or a nuclear power plant and they had pursued policies which they knew were flawed, they would be prosecuted. I don’t imagine that there is much chance of these politicians being so dealt with? Any lawyers on here?

  42. There’s a good IR35 article here:

    This shows that whilst the employer may, at the end of the day, be liable for employment taxes, it is the contract worker who is the focus of the investigation.

    As an addition, I expect there to be court cases so that agencies can get more visibility of the tests which the IR have decided not to disclose.

  43. Amber

    Hi – The tax status of an individual is not determined by the individual – it is dependent on a raft of legal precedents. Indeed, it has been held consistently by the courts that it is to an extent irrelevant what the ‘contract’ may say – it is the actual facts that will determine the status or the contractual arrangement. (And just to take this a stage further, a worker can be self-employed for tax purposes yet still be held to have ’employee’ rights eg unfair dismissal).

    And, it is the employer’s duty to correcty apply PAYE etc.

    That said, if the engager and a company contract for the personal services of a particualr worker, it is the latter company that operates PAYE – and indeed if ‘IR35’ (the intermediary legislation) applies there are specific declarations to be made in the end of year P35 return by the providing company.

    I have no problem with genuine contract workers.

    However, if the Beeb has encouraged some workers to set up their own company to avoid PAYE ad Class 1 NICs, this would in my opinion amount to perpetraing a fraud on the Revenue. But, it all depends on the facts…

  44. Amber

    I think we’re in agreement but appraoching things from slightly different angles.

    A person may be contracted to undertake work for a company and not be an employee for PAYE etc purposes. On the otjher hand, unless the contract is between two companies, the engaging party may be held liable for failure to operate PAYE etc in respect of the contract worker.

  45. @ Mike N

    Yes, I think we are in agreement on almost everything barring the likelihood of the BBC being charged with fraud. It might get a big bill from the tax man with penalties & interest but I doubt there’ll be any criminal charges. It’s the BBC which benefits, not the BBC employee who was negotiating the contract, so they’d have to demonstrate that requiring people to set up service companies was a BBC policy. I stress the ‘requiring’. If it was simply an option or a suggestion, then the Beeb is in the clear, IMO.

  46. Amber
    “I doubt there’ll be any criminal charges”

    I agree.

  47. I think there will be many, many honest small businessmen (Tory ‘constituency’) who resent the implication that taking cash = dodging tax.

    Many can’t process card transactions so it’s cash of cheque. If the householder or small business doesn’t have any cheques or the tradesman is worried the cheque might not be honoured, of course s/he will ask for cash.

    There are also plenty of reasons for giving a discount for cash which don’t involve tax dodging.

  48. I know some businesses are advised not to accept payment by credit card because of the possibility that the other parties (the customer and credit card company) can ‘recall’ payment.

  49. ANMARY
    ‘The difference is ordinary people try to avoid tax so they can put food on the table. There is a world of difference between the plumber who might not declare the odd job or two to make ends meet, and the investment banker who creamed vast bonuses off the public purse then hides it away offshore to save himself millions.’

    I agree, and would add that part of the immorality of the investment banker is the ridiculous amount that he creams off, even if he paid tax, but which rich usually appear to avoid. The fact that these people are drowning in money while many in UK are hard up, and many in the world are starving is truly immoral, but I expect the Tory Minister would not agree.

    Also, imo taxation for the ordinary person, be he plumber or anything else is far too high, and if the rich paid their fair whack it would not need to be so high.

    Although the MP, judging it appears most of the country, who I believe will always pay the window cleaner in cash, although not found guilty of misconduct was, according to today’s mail up to MPs’ old tricks with stamp duty etc, all paid by the poor old taxpayer.

    I have several friends who used to pay bills etc with cheques; however big business, banks and central government have made it almost impossible to use cheques for many transactions. These friends distrust debit/credit cards, perhaps because of the high amounts of fraud and id theft, and pay everything in cash.

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